Since 2018 the CBS hosts the iGEM Montpellier team, supported by Montpellier University.
The international Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) is an annual and worldwide competition in synthetic biology aimed at graduate and undergraduate university students, as well as high school students. Originally organized by the MIT in Boston, it gathers every year more than 300 teams from all around the world, nearly 6,000 people, that design and develop their own project during summer. Then they come together in the fall to present their work and compete at the annual Giant Jamboree.
The first iGEM Montpellier team started in 2018 with the project Vagineering. Its aim was to develop a non-hormonal contraceptive by modifying a common bacterium of the vaginal flora (Lactobacillus jensenii) to produce two categories of proteins preventing unintentional pregnancy. The team made an exceptional work that lead to the special prize in Education and Public Engagement and the gold medal of the competition. More information here.
In 2019 the team was launched during a 3-day retreat (iGEM preparatory Bootcamp), which was supported with a MUSE takeoff action. After intense days of brainstorming the team chose to develop a new molecular tool for specific protein degradation, KARMA, which brought the second gold medal in the two years of participation. More information here.
In 2020, in spite of the health crisis, the iGEM Montpellier team was renewed and worked mainly remotely on a phage engineering project called PHAGENT which aimed at identifying bacteria of the tumor microbiota in a therapeutic perspective for cancer treatment. The iGEM Montpellier 2020 team was awarded a silver medal at the special online adapted Giant Jamboree 2020.
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